tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 12, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EST
testified at a house hearing that the missed deadline means e comprehensive rules won't be made until 2017 at the earliest. this hearing of the subcommittee on aviation is two hours. good morning, the committee will come to order. would like to ask unanimous consent that members not on the committee in addition to members not on the subcommittee be permitted to sit with the subcommittee at today's hearing. there's a great deal of interest and offer testimony and asked questions. without objection, so ordered. would like to thank all of you for being here. the united states has been the global leader in aviation. we're all very proud of that. the american leadership in manufacturing, air transportation, flight safety and technological innovation is tremendous.
the aviation industry contributes billions of dollars to our economy, supports millions of jobs throughout our country and is a source of pride for all americans. unmanned aerial systems have been increasingly in the news. but they are not new. it's been almost 100 years since the u.s. military began developing the first uas. uas offers excite. ing opportunities and daunting challen challenges. the previous faa reauthorization law contained provisions directing the faa to take steps towards safely integrating into our nation's air space by september 2015. among other things we directed the faa to create test sites and regulations for uas. the results, so far, appear to be mixed. and i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on the faa's efforts. there are many issues surrounding uas we need to consider. first and foremost and it's
always been safety. our nation's safety record is the result of decades of hard work by thousands and also some hard lessons learned. safety is the cornerstone of u.s. aviation industry and without it the uas industry cannot succeed, period. thus i'm concerned when i read in "the washington post" that the faa is receiving about 25 reports each month about uas flying too close to the aircraft. sometimes even near. major airports. protecting privacy is equally important as we further deploy uas whether by individual hobbyists or in commercial applications. i know the faa and aviation industry are taking the issue very seriously, and congress will continue to be actively engaged. we can all agree represents a tremendous economic opportunity. the faa estimates that 89 to 90
billion will be invested globally in uas over the next ten years and major u.s. companies have begun investing in uas technology in a major way. there are many valuable applications in real estate, agriculture, medical transport and infrastructure maintenance with many more on the horizon. it's not hard to imagine uas making existing industries more efficient in give. ing rise to entirely new ones. all of this could mean new jobs and vast economic opportunities for the american people if we do this right. so it also concerns me when i read in the "wall street journal" about major u.s. companies taking their uas research and development activities to foreign countries such as canada and australia because faa regulations are too burdensome and too slow. it also concerns me that the road builders in germany and
farmers in france today are enjoying economic benefits from uas because safety regulators there have found ways to permit such flights. i can't fhelp but wonder if the germans, french and canadians do some of these things today, then why can't we also be doing them. are they smarter than us? i don't think so. are they better than us? i u don't think so. so we really need these questions answered. i hope to get a better understand i understanding of this issue during today's hearing. as i said earlier, safety is paramount and the challenges are difficult. but if there is a country that is up to the challenge of safe uas integration, it is certainly the united states of america. we have the very best engineers, the most creative miepds minds and to ensure american leadership in aviation in the decades ahead. i know this because many of our
best and brightest minds in aviation work at the faa's technical center flagship, which is in my district. the faa tech center is a one-stop shop for the best and brightest to research, develop, demonstrate and validate new aviation technologies and data sources. it's had a role in many advances many flight safety including air traffic control, which is key to safe uas integration. it's a place where new ideas are developed and old ones are improved. work on uas is underway already and i fully expect their contributions will continue and they will be invaluable i'm interest interested in hearing today where we are in terms of the uas industry and what lies ahead, what progress the government has or hasn't made and what industry an faa need and how we in congress can help as we consider the next faa reauthorization bill. and a talk with mr. larson and
members of the committee, we're really looking at this very closely because as we prepare the next faa authorization bill, we're going to be looking for some substantial improvements in this particular area and we'll be looking at specific language, if necessary, if we don't see these advances in a timely way. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses on these topics and thank them for joining us today. before i recognize my colleague mr. larson for his comments, i'd like to ask unanimous con sent that all legislative to advise and extend remarks and material for the hearing. without objection, so ordered. >> thank you for calling today's hearing on unmanned systems, integration oversight and competitiveness. i appreciate you holding this hearing of our request and safety is and must be the number one priority.
certainly is mine and yours as well. we have looked at unmanned aircraft systems twice earlier this year but the report of collisions between uas and manned aircraft operations are safe, both of those in the air and on the ground. the uas industry has great potential to drive economic growth and create jobs including in washington state where i'm from which is an epicenter of r&d. the faa says it receives 25 reports each month from pilots who have seen unmanned aircraft operating near their aircraft including some near collisions. but we rise to challenges, we do not shrink from them. i want you to consider these headlines with cautionary tales. planes crash in air, man killed, that's from the wyoming state
tribune. crash in air kills two when machines collide in practice flight. the headlines are from 1917 and 1920. i found more than 80 stories of this kind alone written before 1921. it could have cause d the publi to give in on developing things that fly, that they used to call machines. but we didn't. had we given up then, we wouldn't have the system that we have today. so while our near collision headlines reflect undenial challenges that must be addressed, we have to keep moving forward to ensure progress and competitiveness. let's be clear integration must never come at the expense of safety. to guide this effort, the last authorization set authority requirements to safely integrate uas into international air space. we heard concerns they are not moving quickly enough. the department of transportation
and inspector general reported in june that faa completed work for the milestones, but that agency was behind schedule in remaining milestones. the bill required by august 14th of this year. we expect that rule soon. the bill also required faa to establish six test ranges. however, while the test ranges are up and running, we continue to hear from stake holders they are being utilized. we have to give credit where credit is due and the faa is proceeding with caution and is making some progress. for example, section 333 of the act gave the authority to authorize certain operations on an interim basis. using this authority and granted several exemptions including
some this morning. we must assure it allows operations to operate safely. we also r heard concerns from other countries have more flexible environments to test. so while we must hold safety paramount, we do not want to fall needlessly behind. privacy is another major concern and must be addressed. i share the public's concern about aerial surveillance from operators and work to ensure these concerns are adjusted for proper channels. we have seen faa make progress ob on capabilities with bipartisan support. our work on next jen shows the necessity of faa's collaboration with stake holders, especially pilots and air traffic controllers, who will be directly affected by new technologies. our goal should be to keep safe integration on track so that we're not here in 2024 talking about a plan to integrate uas
into the air space. finally, mr. chairman, i would like to ask unanimous consent to write miter into the record. input is critical. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from our panelists about why we're here today, and to ensure safety, thank you. >> very pleased to welcome the chairman of the full committee and thank him for his tremendous interest and involvement in this issue and the faa authorization bill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to start by saying welcome to our panel here today. i'm interested in hearing your testimony and your views on this issue. but i share the views on safety. safety is simply paramount. that has to be first and foremost. we in congress are very interested in uas in the last
bill we directed the faa to safely integrate that by september 2015. but the industry cannot develop unless it's proven safe and based on the opening statements by the chairman and the ranking member, republicans and democrats are united in our views about the priority and importance of safety. we also understand that uas are an exciting technology with the potential to transform part os of our economy. i'm intrigued by how uas might improve our modes of transportation. for example, uas might be used for certain kind of bridge inspections without closing lanes for traffic stopping or requiring workers to have to climb up to high places to do inspections. the uas can survey 180 acres of land in less than an hour. uas can safely get more out of the buck.
with that in mind, it's our responsibility to look at this technology. i know there are some challenges to get this right. they are up to the challenge to ensure the united states retains its lead in technology. as we work towards safe integration, we can't let a few irresponsible individuals jeopardize the safety of the many and set back a potentially promising technology. i'm glad you're here today and thank you for holding this hearing, and i yield back. >> want to thank our distinguished panel of witnesses today. our first panel will include the associate administrator for aviation safety for the federal aviation administration. certainlily all things uas. mr. matthew hampton, assistant inspector general for aviation audits for the u.s. department of transportation office of
inspector general. dr. gerald diling ham, director of civil aviation issues for the u.s. government accountability office. captain lee, who is president of airline pilots association. mr. jesse kal man. >> we welcome your remarks. >> thank you, chairman, for the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee to discuss unmanned aircraft systems. in the reform act, congress mandated the safe and integration of uas into the national air space system. the administrator in announcing his initiative identified integration of uas and commercial space operations as one of his top priorities and we are working hard to meet those mandates. in the act, congress mandated that the secretary of transportation consult with
government partners and industry stake holders to develop a comprehensive plan for uas integration. the documents set out a phased approach that must be carried out thoughtfully to ensure safety is not kprcompromised. we announced sites to aid in uas integration. as required, we set out to have one test site operation within six months of election. we surpassed that goal within four months and three more sites operational within six months of their selections. now all six sites are fully operational and have established their research agendas. the data and information from the test sites will help answer key questions about how unmanned aircraft systems in the air space as well as with air traffic control. the faa technical center in atlantic city is playing a key
role in analysis and will continue to make significant contributions to uas integrations to identify the data that will be most useful. we are moving forward through rule making as mandated by. the act, the rule making to permit civil operation of small uas in the air space. we all agree that project is taking too long. i'm pleased to say we believe we have a balanced proposal that's currently under executive review. in the meantime and consistent with the act, we're looking at activities that do not pose risk to others that operate in the air space to the general public or to national security and can be operated safely without a certificate. once the secretary of transportation is able to make that determination, faa then grants relief from other operating regulations. we have authorized 11 operators including five exemptions we have issued today to conduct commercial activity in the national air space covering
activities such as surveying, inspection and movie making. we continue to facilitate the use by public entities. for more than two decades, faa for important safety missions. working closely with the departments of defense and other agencies who are taking advantage of the extensive federal investment made in these systems. in addition, more than 35 law enforcement agencies now operate unmanned aircraft under certificates of authorization. we are also working with law enforcement agencies to address the unauthorized use of uas for they are often in the best position to help us deter, detect and investigate such activities. we are working hard to educate about the requirements for national air space and e we believe opportunities like this will help in that endeavor. but that has proven to be a challenge. unlike traditional manned aircraft, unmanned aircraft are
available for purchase by individuals who may not realize that they are entering the national air space system or must comply with regulations. they may not appreciate the significant safety risk that is presented by unauthorized or unsafe uas operations in the air space. just as you directed in the 2012 act, faa can and will take enforcement action against anyone who operates a usa in a way that endangers the space. but we continue to lead with education because we believe the vast majority of operators want to comply with faa regulators. recently formed by the civil u aviation organization. the u.s. will be leading the way to establish standards and recommended practices, procedures and guidance materials to facilitate the safe
integration of remotely piloted systems around the world. together with our international partners, we will facilitate integration at the international level while continuing to lead the world in aviation safety. mr. chairman, this concludes my testimony. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. mr. hampton? >> members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today on faa efforts to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the air space system. the increasing demand for systems has enormous economic implications and competitive implications for our nation. as you know, the modernization and reform act was a catalyst for technology. the act directed faa to take steps to integration with the goal of technology by 2015. in june we reported on efforts and made 11 recommendations specifically aimed at faa to more effectively meet the goals.
my testimony today will focus on faa's progress in implement iin the provisions and the challenges that the agency faces in safely integrating technology. to date faa completed more than half of the 17 requirements in the act. this includes selecting the test sites as well as publish iing a road map outlining agency plans. in addition, using the authority granted in the act faa recently authorized 11 companies to operate uas in the commercial operations. however, faa is behind schedule on the remaining requirements. many of which are key to advancing u.s. integration. for example, faa missed the 2014 deadline for issuing a final rule on small systems. these are systems weighing less than 55 pounds. while faa expects to issue a proposed rule soon, it will likely generate a significant amount of comment. s that they need to consider.
as a result, it's uncertain when a final rule will be published. faa will not meet the acts goal to safely integrate technology by september 2015. as faa works to implement the provisions, they also face significant technological, regulatory and management challenges. on the technological front, the evolution of technology is paramount. also the risks of scenarios when an operator loses connectivity with an unmanned aircraft remains high. further more, establishing secure radio frequency spectrum to support communications has also proven difficult to address. faa, dod and nasa have several important research projects underway but it remains unclear when the technology will be robust enough to support safe operations. regulatory challenges has also affected progress to date. although faa is authorized limited operations on a case by
case basis, is not yet positioned to certify civil operations on a large scale. faa has worked with a special committee for more than nine years but has not yet reached consensus with stake holders on minimum performance and e design standards for technology. much work remains to set requirements for pilot and crew qualifications, ground control stations and communication linked for systems. finally, i'd like to turn to the management challenges in areas that need significant attention. faa lacks training, tools and procedures air traffic controllers need to manage operations. faa also lacks databases to analyze data from current u.s. operators and a severity base for incident reporting. data from faa's test sites will provide critical information related to certification, air traffic control and technology i discussed earlier.
all of these can inform decisions when advanced progress. other important and much-needed steps include publication of the small rule and developing an integrated budget document that clearly identifies funding requirements in the near and midterm. in conclusion, uas will be and remain a front and center issue that requires significant management attention. it remains uncertain when and at what pace u.s. technology can be fully and safely e integrated into our air space. now is the time to build on the knowledge base to make informed decisions, set priorities, identify critical path issues and develop the basic regulatory framework for integrating technology into national air space system. we will continue to monitor progress on these issues and keep the subcommittee apprised of our efforts. mr. chairman, this concludes my prepared statements. i'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. hampton.
we'll leave it at that for right now. dr. diling ham? >> mr. chairman, members of the subcommittee, my statement this morning is based on our ongoing work for this subcommittee and focuses on three areas. first, faa's progress towards meeting the unmanned systems provisions of the 201 faa ret r reauthorization act. second, key research in development activities needed to support unmanned systems integration and third, how other countries have progressed towards integrated unmanned systems into their air space. regarding the provisions of the 2012 act, the act included 17 specific provisions for faa to achieve safe integration by september 2015. while faa has completed most of the provisions, the key ones remain an additional actions are needed to leverage a completed
provision for the integration efforts. for example, a critical step for allowing commercial operations is a publication of the final rule. to develop the rule faa must publish a proposed rule. you heard it's been delayed. given the time that's generally required for rule making and the tens of thousands of comments expected on this, the consensus of opinion is the integration of unmanned systems will likely slip from the mandated deadline of september 2015 until 2017 or even later. the delay in the final rules could contribute to unmanned systems continue to operate unsafely ill and legally and lead to additional activities for faa's scarce resources.
additionally, without unmanned system rules, u.s. businesses may continue o to take their testing and research and development activities outside of the u.s. regarding research and development activities, the key technology issue remains the same as they have been since the beginning of the era, including detection, command and control, and spectrum issues. there are a wide range of stake holders involved and there's been some notable progress. including the establishment of the test value. our preliminary work suggests that this development has nod lived up to its promise. the test site operators told us that they were significantly jurnd utilized by faa and the private sector and that they
were unclear as to what research and development and operational data was needed by faa to support the integration initiatives. however, our preliminary work suggests that it has provided some guidance to the test sites regarding the research and development and data needs. federal law prevents them from task i tasking the test sites for specific data. according to faa, the law does not allow the agency to give directions to the site or accept voluntary services without payment. as we continue our study, we will be trying to better understand the relationship between the test sites, faa and the needed research and development and how the test sites can achieve the best use. regarding development in foreign countries, as in the case in the u.s., many countries around the world allow commercial operation. s under some restrictions. also similar to the u.s., foreign countries are
experiencing problems with illegal and unsafe, unmanned syst systems operations. however, a study in our preliminary observations have revealed that several countries including japan, australia, united kingdom and canada have progressed further than the united states with regulation supporting commercial operations for small, unmanned vehicles. our ongoing study for this subcommittee will look further at the experiences of other countries for potential lessons learned for the united states. mr. chairman, ranking member larson and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. >> thank you, dr. dillingham.
>> thank you, chairman, ranking members for the opportunity to provide our perspectives on the critical importance of safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national air space system. our country's national air space is the most dynamic and diverse on the planet and also want to underscore this, the safest. we need to protect it and maintain it to deliver the safest, most sufficient air transportation possible. . uas and remotely piloted aircraft systems include aircraft ranging in the size from a small bird to as large as an airliner. some uas aircraft operate completely autonomously. the flight route is computer programmed and the device operates without a pilot. other uas air u craft are flown remotely from an operational center or control stations that
can be located at the launch and recovery site or perhaps thousands of miles away. supports the safe use of unmanned aircraft systems. we recognize the potential benefit to our nation's economic competitiveness, but we also recognize the potential for a safety risk if we don't treat them as what they are, airplanes in air space. we have all scene photos of the damage that can be caused to an airplane by a bird strike in flight. unmanned aircraft can be much smaller or much larger than birds, but they harbor added risk in that they carry batteries, motors and other hard metal components. this was a bird strike. please take a look at this on a commercial airplane and this next photo of a military airplane's encount er with an unmanned aerial vehicle headed in the wing root. we must not allow pressure to
integrate uas into the nas to rush a process that must be solely focused on safety. standards and technologies must be in place to ensure the same high level of safety that's currently present in the nas before it can be authored to occupy the same air space as airliners are operating areas that might stray in the air space used by commercial flig s flights. we also need to make certain that uas pilots are proper ly trained and understand the consequences of possible malfunctions. now i knew i would be speaking before you today, so i went online last thursday and purchased this quad copter for a couple hundred dollars. as the marketing promised, it was ready to fly in a few minutes and i was flying it in my office. now this uas can carry a camera,
it has a gps which with the purchase of additional software can be used to preprogram a flight plan. it has the capability, this one, to fly as high as 6,600 feet for 15 minutes. that means it could easily end up in the same air space when i'm approaching at newark or any other airport. if we took this aircraft out in the courtyard, it has the capability to fly from this courtyard to the final approach path at reagan national airport and from the park at the end of the runway, that's reagan airport, that's that gravely park, you can see it would be even easier to fly into the aircraft zone. now a well-trained and experienced flight crew is the most important safety component of the commercial air transportation system. a pilot in the cockpit of an aircraft can e see, feel, smell
and hear indications of the a problem and begin to formulate a course of action long before the most sophisticated indicators verify trouble. without a pilot on board, we lose this advantage. as a result, it's essential that uas pilots are highly trained, qualified and monitored to meet the equivalent standards of pilot who is operate manned aircraft. we also need to make certain that a uas aircraft can't stray into areas that pose as a hazard if the operator loses control that if there's a failure the aircraft doesn't endanger other people on the ground. if uas is intended to be operated in civil air space or could unintentionally be flown in our space, pilots need to be able to see them and controllers need the ability to see them on the radar scopes.
aircraft also need to be equipped with collision avoidance capability. finally, the faa resources are limited and the agency must have a long-term sustained source of funding as well as realistic time lines in a systemic approach that builds the path of integration based on safety. we appreciate the opportunity to testify today. we look forward to working with congress to ensure that safety is held paramount in bringing uas into the national air space. >> thank you, captain. >> chairman, ranking member larson, and members of the s subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify here today. i'm the head of business development and regular tear affairs for air ware, a san francisco-based company developing unmanned aircraft enabling companies to collect, analyze data for a growing number of applications around the world. air ware has raised over $40
million and our team has more than doubled over the last year. i also serve on the board of the the small uav coalition which was formed to promote safe commercial operations of small uavs in the united states. this is a critical time. small coalition and others in the community would like to ensure that the united states becomes the global leader for commercial uav development and operations while maintaining the safest air space in the world. today i will focus on three key issues for this subcommittee. one, the current state of uav technology and potential implications in a variety of industries. the need for a risk-based approach to regulations. third, the effective current and expected regulations on u.s. businesses. first, the uav industry is the fastest growing market here in the united states. many here today may be familiar with the consumer uavs used for
photography. i would like to focus on the biggest problems across a variety of industries. they are being used for a disaster management. oil and gas exploration, search and rescue, surveying of crops. these uavs are equipped with many features to ensure safety and reliability of operations. such as geofencing systems, which keep a uav within certain altitude and distance limits as well as away from sensitive areas. also management systems, which in the case of an issue on board the aircraft, enable the uav to automatically return to a safe landing location. these technologies are developing at an increasingly rapid rate and safe operations today. in addition, nasa is working to develop a uas traffic management system to provide a means for safely managing a lot of these syste systems. through my past experience work at the faa, i understand the challenge in regulating this new technology in the united states.
there are steps we can be taking to open up environments now. most commercial uav operations will take place below 400 feet. this brings me to my second point. we must take a new approach to regulating uavs. for example, a small aircraft at 300 feet would be subject to minimal requirements where as a larger would require highly reliable i'vonics, additional training, and fail safe mechanisms like a parachute. these are the types of risk models being allowed to use in europe today including france. i'm pleased that the faa recently stated its intentions to shift to this model. ai plaud them for this it, but the question is how quickly can it be implemented. finally, i'd like to discuss the effective delayed regulations on u.s. businesses.
az mentioned, france allows as well as many other countries. the united states typically a leader in aviation is one of only a few countries that prohibits commercial uav operations. while we wait, small and large businesses in the united states are moving uav test iing and operations abroad, where regulations are are more advanced. draed and overly restrictive regulations aren't just slowing the growth of the industry. many of the largest industries and corporations in america see this technology as key for remaining competitive in the global marketplace. strategic investment from one of the largest corporations in america, general electric, who could use in their business units. the farm bureau noted that u.s. farmers will not be able to keep up with foreign competitors if they are not allowed to use the same technology. it will have a major impact on our economy. in the first three years of integration, conservative estimates include creating 70,000 jobs and $13.6 billion
into the economy. with each year of integration delays, the u.s. loses more than $10 million in potential economic impact. we want the jobs, economic benefits and core intellectual property to be here in the united states. we know that no matter the outcome today, uav technology will create jobs. it will save lives and grow the economies of those countries with the foresight to act. the united states is poised to lead the way for this changing industry. we have the tall enlt and the workforce to create the technology needed to safety integrate. let's act quickly before major opportunities are lost. thank you and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. >> chairman, ranking member larson, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the unmanned aviation industry in the united states. i'm a professor in the defendant
at m.i.t. i lead a research program on unmanned vehicles with a focus on unmanned flight in urban, civilian or populated environments. most recently i worked with goog toll fund project wing, a package delivery system. i returned to m.i.t. full-time in september of this year. i'm speaking solely for myself. my main message today is that the u.s. does lead the world in development, but both testing the next wave of technology and training the next generation of engineers are more difficult in the u.s. than in other countries. let me explain further. firstly, the issues around small commercialization are quite different compared to large military uavs. large uavs are safe and reliable as manned aircraft. it's the unquestioned leader in the space so i'm going to focus on civil use. the vast majority of small uavs are toy aircraft such as model airplanes. this current generation of small uavs exist because of advances in technologies. leading to smaller, cheaper that
are easier for anyone to fly. . there are many companies, but right now they can fly u simple missions with the same reliability as a toy. a lot of example uses have made the news, but are for the most part pro toe types. the current civil market around the world are tiny. hundreds to a couple thousand vehicles at best. there are real technology gaps. the recent call for center of excellence is a pretty good road map for what technology is needed for growth. let me give you some examples. most people know what it's like for the gps to get confused. this can and does happen to uavs too. they need sensors to let them know where they are at all times. they need to know about ground obstacles and avoid collisions. we need to ensure the pilot and can control at all times. the air traffic management infrastructure must grow to
coordinate the number flying through the national air space system at any altitude. an unmanned vehicle only makes sense when the operational cost is less than a manned aircraft. on board intelligence is needed to drive down the human labor costs in more applications. another wave of technology is required to scale up emergency response or package delivery. u.s. researchers and companies lead in these technology areas. we do have a demonstrated track record. but there are hurdles. firstly, from the right cycle exchange 100 years ago in ohio to hew lit packard, the most successful technology companies in the world is a small team of investors tinkering in a garage. the point is not the garage itself, but it gives the ability to test anywhere that is safe and this accelerates the development cycle. unfortunately it's hardered to test in the u.s. than in other countries. it's not impossible. there are a number of mechanisms, but there's a considerable bar to industry. the current processes might be
right for authorizing a pipeline inspection service across north dakota, but their owners for a ba basic technology. there isn't a single set of rules that can be adopted from another country that would work here, but there may be ideas to be learned. a clear definition instead of a case by case approval process will let engineers know where they can set up and start to work. secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the leadership depends on our ability to train engineers and scientists with the scales necessary to develop the technologies. there are a growing number of universiti universities teaching technol y technologies to undergrads. there are too few and the cost is substantial. the same processes that inhibit access limit our our institutions provide training in uav technology. further more, the support for basic research in technologies
is diminishing. the progress in the u.s. has been funded by forward thinking program managers. these program managers have not only funded the technology to fund the students that is running on uavs today. universities outside the u.s. are acting as training grounds for a generation of researchers and as incubators for companies. led me conclude by saying that the u.s. is not currently lagging other countries rega regardless of the publicity. the same technical hurdles will need to be overcome in any country before they become a reality. nevertheless, there are issues and constraints in this country that may allow other countries to overtake the u.s. in training the generation of engineers required to carry out that development. thank you very much for this opportunity. >> thank you. chairman shoouser? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. we appreciate you bringing your expertise here. i think it's important to point
out that on this subcommittee, on the full committee, we have members that have expertise, we have pilots on this subcommittee. i think i have them all down here. scott perry, we're going to be joined by another pilot. and jeff denim when he served in the air force was an aircraft mechanic. and our council is a pilot. so we have a lot of expertise here, a lot of folks that understand what you're saying and so i think it's going to be important as we move forward listening to you but listening to the experts that we have here on the subcommittee is very beneficial to us. i'm happy that they are here and with us and able to help us guide us through this. first question to captain moak, in your written testimony, you stated that commercial operators should hold a commercial pilots license and instrument ratings.
we heard that the skills are different, significantly different than those to fly a passenger jet. some parts of the curriculum really seem to have little relevance to flying u.s. for example, operators need to master stall and recovery techniques in a cessna if they plan on flying. what would be the relevance there? how would it benefit safety? is there a scientific basis for your recommendation? >> so even on another committee i sat on, we had the air force where they were working initially all their uas pilots over the last several years were coming out of the pilot pipeline. but the need for more operators for the u.s. air force increased, they set up a separate uas track, which you may be familiar with. in that track, they do go through all the basic skills of
flying for a couple reasons. one is to understand when they are in the air space and the other is to make sure they are operating the uas properly. so the air force has briefed us on that. we think it's a good model. with what the faa has been doing, treating these as an airplane and going through a process of certificating the aircraft, certificating the operator, the person trying to operate it, the company, and certificating the pilots and then monitoring and oversight of all that is one of the foundations of having a continuing with a safe national air space. so should they be able to recover from a stall or each of that, i think there's room for that in any curriculum, i agree with you on that. we need to be focused on the safety part of that. >> to modify it, if it doesn't
make sense. the second thing is we have some reports from newspapers and other media sources that leaking out some of the proposed rule make i making. this it question to, there appears to be not be permitted to operate beyond the line of sight. if that were the case, my concern is it would almost eliminate the benefits that a uas system brings to us. can you comment beyond the line of sight? >> there's new stories all the time. one at jfk and one the heathrow. this would have been different. catastrophic, and we would have a different hearing today. i think what's important is if it's going to be operated in that method that you're talking about, there needs to be a way
to have pilots that are flying be able to see it and it's very difficult, if not impossible, to see this because much like other things in the air, if there's not relative motion, your eye can't all right? and on the air space issues, for example, for helicopters, you know, 500 feet and below is where helicopters, life flight and lots of other planes operate. so i would just suggest this. if we're going to be operating it beyond line of sight in densely -- in dense areas, big sky, little airplane but lots of airplanes, there needs to be a way for air traffic control to see it, for the airplanes to see it, for the person who's operating it to be able to communicate with air traffic control and with the airplanes in the area. i believe with that, you could easily operate beyond line of sight. then the only other thing -- and we have experts over here. if you're in an area that's not
populated by other airplanes, then, of course, you could operate it in that manner, but the only thing would be what do you do with a lost link which has happened quite a bit in the military. >> can you tell, based on what captain moak said there -- >> i think this gets back to what i said earlier in taking a reduced risk approach. there are higher risks but you can mitigate that through technology. for example in france today what they're doing for beyond line of sight operations, thissy are only operating at very low altitudes where there isn't general aviation or traffic and they're enhancing it with cameras on board where an operator can actually see if there's other traffic in the area to the point on lost link scenarios they're utilizing technology i mentioned earlier for contingency management, so in the case where you do lose link with your operator, you're able to preprogram in so they
know how to respond in those cases. depending on what the area is, what the environment is, it knows what a safe location is to return to. so these are the types of technologies that are already in place today. >> mr. chairman, wonder if you'll yield me one more minute to let mr. roy respond to that. he's worked with google and m.i.t. >> so my answer's very consistent with the previous two answers in the sense that beyond line of sight is eminently doable a. a risk-based profile makes a lot of sense. it's more feasible in unpopulated environments or where you have some notion of what the air space contains, the technology issues are very consistent loss of link needs to be a contingency plan loss of link is a challenge maintaining situational aair wans as a vehicle returns, that's a technology question that needs to be addressed but these are eminently doable. >> thank you very much. for the benefit of the faa, to me it was loud and clear, safety is paramount. i think we all agree with that. this can be done. and as we move forward, making sure that we're looking at the
technology and the safety aspect that, again, one size doesn't fit all. thank you. >> mr. larson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to focus my initial questions on this end of the table. i know folks on my side will have some questions for folks down here. but i want to talk a little bit about the technology side. and it is dr. roy, have you looked at the use of the six test sites and made any assessment about whether they're being used as much as they can and if you have made that assessment, what would you suggest be done otherwise? >> so out of these six test sites are not my area of expertise. i haven't personally done an assessment. m.i.t. was heavily involved. and i got back to m.i.t. this september. so been a bit busy. haven't looked at what's available there. but we hope to be playing there
soon. >> given your research and course of study, what would be an ideal environment? >> so that's a good question. one of the limitations i think is the distance with which one has to go in order to get to the test sites, and the -- i guess the onus on setting up operations there. in an ideal world, i describe in my written testimony the ability to designate local test areas anywhere, local flight areas anywhere test areas have clear rules so that for instance if you are more than 150 -- i'm picking these numbers entirely arbitrarily but 150 meters from people on the ground or ground structure and you have secured the air space, then if you had the ability to do that, then that would allow, you know, presumably you could not do that in downtown cambridge but you could go farther afield to an area where you can take your students more easily than going
to griffiths air space and fly. >> do you have comments on generally what an ideal environment for these test sites would look like? >> absolutely. >> how would they operate, that is. >> i agree. i think the important thing for test sites is the ease of access to that small companies, large companies all have the same opportunities to go utilize the air space. obviously safety is of utmost importance. so being able to do that safely through, for example, issuing a note to other operators in the area so they understand there's testing going on in these areas but ensuring that these areas are able for companies to get that approval and utilize that space quickly and rapidly and at low cost to these companies. >> we'll talk to the test sites about whether that's happening as well as some of the stakeholders. you talked a little bit about the risk-based approach and what it would look like. is there any scenario where a sector where you can envision a
test to operation scenario? where, you know, like on the armed services committee we sort of broke through the acquisition on certain things to break through the slowness of the pentagon to act on things. is there -- using that model, is there a scenario where we can get to a test to operations scenario at these test sites? certain cases? >> absolutely. i think that could be very valuable. i know organizations like nasa ames are already engaged in looking at things like to allow companies to bring their technology to showcase what it's capable of doing and ensuring that it will respond safely in a variety of different scenarios. i think that will be very important to have and i think that there should be infrastructure for that. >> yeah. dr. roy? >> i completely agree with that. i think that's essential because they're going to be operational scenarios that can't be represented in the test sites. so for instance, as the commercial application of
infrastructure inspection, package delivery and so on, they're going to require more urban environments for testing, and so as we stand up those markets, the test to operation is going to be an important part of that. >> yeah. and then want to come down to ms. gilligan about on the test sites, air worthiness representatives. you designate one for nevada test site. what about the others and is that something that test sites need to request or is faa trying to conclude that they ought to have these? >> we've offered that as a tool, a technique for the test sites to be able to expand attracting industry into those locations, and so we did it in nevada. we've offered the training to all the test sites. they've not yet offered a candidate to that training. they're ready whenever they're training. after the training, the designee
needs to demonstrate they'll have the skill that will be done with one of our engineers. after that the designee will be able to actually approve the operation of the vehicle for the test sites. we think that will help to expand the attraction for industry to come to those test sites. >> this is an oda model essentially? >> at this point it's individual designees. it's not necessary to be an organizational designation because there's not that level of demand. certainly if the demand expands and we think an organizational model makes sense we can certainly move to that. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. and look forward to the rest of the question, thanks. >> thank you. ms. gilligan, the question i'm going to try to get to is the effectiveness interaction with faa and the test sites. and there's a lot of faa activity with uas arena, with the test sites in section 333 and so on.
could you explain the respective roles of the faa tech center, the test sites, the centers of excellence, cooperative research and development agreements, section 333 in terms of how they are getting us towards uas integration? seems like there's a lot of stuff out here, but we're getting reports that the test centers are somewhat frustrated because there's not the interaction that they were expecting and we're not getting results. can you talk about this? >> i'd be glad to, mr. chairman. we have biweekly conferences with all of the test sites. so i think we have begun to alleviate some of those early concerns. i do thing the test sites got off to perhaps a slower start than we and they were anticipating as they really came to understand what it was that they'd undertaken. i think we're seeing good movement there. they all have approved coas, they have flight operations
under way, we're expecting information from them but of course the numbers are still small because they're really all just getting under way. i believe the improvement that mr. larson referred to with the ability for the test sites to have a designated air worthiness representative who can work with companies that want to use the test sites, we believe will go a long way to increasing the appeal of the test sites to some of the companies that my colleagues on the panel have talked about who want to do research in these areas. so we think that will be an important improvement as well. >> so does the faa have a plan to use these assets in a coordinated fashion? >> we're looking at what our research needs are and to the extent that the test centers can help us fulfill those and we have funding for that research we'll certainly look to use the test sites. right now faa has not placed research at any of the test sites. these test sites, as i say, were set up in accordance with the intent that we saw in the act, which was to allow industry,
which as my colleagues have said, right now it's difficult for industry to have access to air space for the purposes of research and development. we believe the test sites offer them the perfect opportunity to meet those research needs here in the u.s. and that's why we're working with the test sites to expand the ability for them to attract that kind of research. again, if faa research needs can be met at the test sites, we will certainly look to fund projects at those test sites as well. >> so when you say you're working with the test sites to expand that opportunity, can you tell me a little bit more about that? >> again, we're trying to keep them well informed about what they are able to do under the agreements that they have with the faa, we now have individuals actually from the test center who will be traveling to each of the test sites to work with them more closely on what it is that we might be looking for to be able to get research data through the test sites. and then the designees we
believe, once the test sites take advantage of the ability to have a designee on site, we believe that will open the doors for industry to take advantage of the test sites. >> can you tell us a little bit about how you are engaging with u.s. companies that might want to do research and development here in the u.s. versus overseas and, excuse me, what i'm after is about some of these reports, media reports that companies are frustrated. are you interacting with these companies? or how are we trying to keep them to keep the jobs here is what i'm getting at? >> yes, sir. the staff in our uas office are interacting with industry constantly. there's a large conference, for example, this weekend in new mexico, a yearly conference. we're well represented there and we're reaching out not only in public sessions but in private meetings with manufacturers to try to understand what are their needs and whether and where they can meet those needs.
the recent newspaper report that you saw, we've been working with that applicant. they're working with both an exemption under part 333 as well as what we're recommending is that they seek certification for their vehicle under our special certification rules for the purposes of research, and we think that we can actually enable them to accomplish what they need to accomplish here in the u.s. through the test sites and through their own certification. >> well, obviously a lot of areas of interest here that we as committee want to keep our fingers on, but while keeping safety paramount, the economic opportunities in an economy that can desperately use it is also at the top of our list. thank you. mr. defazio? >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. gilligan, there's this innanty of the anti-deficiency act where you can't give direction to someone utilizing a test site because you're
being -- they're providing an uncompensated service. have your lawyers really looked at that to see whether or not there is a way around that or are we going to need to legislate to fix that? >> our lawyers have looked at it, sir, at this point, and that's the advice that they've given us. i certainly will ask them to look more closely to see if there's some alternative. at this point we are again supporting the test sites by trying to make them attractive to industry who really is the -- >> right. and i've also heard from some who use the test sites that there's quite a bureaucratic process to come in and if you want to run one flight, you have to file all these papers, then you want to modify something and run another, you can't just do it -- you can't say we're going to change eight parameters and do another flight. >> we're working with the test sites and asked them to come in with a proposal for what we call a broad co-authorization. they're working on that proposal so that we can start to address
some of these concerns. >> right. i mean, you got the test site, we get all those parameters in place and then someone comes there and says come back in another 30 days if you want to run a little modified -- i mean, they should be able to do it on a test site, be able to do multiple operations with different parameters. it would be useful for your people to observe, it would be useful obviously for their development, would greatly facilitate things. i hope that we can do that very quickly. why aren't there more test sites? we limited it to six. why couldn't we have more? we just limited it to six. is there any reason to have more test sites. i doesn't cost anything, right? >> it does cost us -- >> in terms of personnel monitoring. >> yes, we have people that work very closely with the test sites. there is a resource -- >> i don't consider them very well geographically dispersed. for a small start-up to have to travel a thousand miles to a test site, that's another thing we ought to look at. are we seriously pursuing a
risk-based approach, which just makes so much sense to me living in the west and knowing that there are vast areas with agriculture where you could be praying safely and there are no potential conflicts or virtually no none. >> yes, sir, we're using a risk-based approach as we look at the 333 requests for exemption to make sure we understand the level of risk and what limitations need to be added to it. we're doing the same in, i think one of the panelists referred to it. we do have applicants who want to actually certify the systems. we're using the same risk-based approach there, we're looking at our rules and with the applicant what are the risks that need to be addressed by design standards and what standards can we pick from those standard thats exist now. >> geographic makes a lot of sense as a starting point for risk-based approach in refers to proximity tertiary, airports, critical air space whole different problem. i hope you're seriously working
on that. there's one other question to you and that is the staff provides something that they say in the case of the film industry that after they got the section 333, they have to get a separate operating authorization which has not yet been granted. so -- >> yes. they need approval to operate in the air space and we need to be able to put out a notice to airmen where the operations are occurring. i believe all but one of them have now gotten that approval for at least one particular location. >> okay. >> but we agree that under the exemptions process, we might be able to make that more efficient as well. we're looking closely at how we could do that. >> okay. this is a -- to the panel generally or maybe that end. i mean, transponders. how small can a useful transponder be these days? >> some of the smaller transponders that can be used now in uavs, be right now about the size of a cell phone or maybe smaller.
>> a what, cell phone? >> yeah, cell phone sized. those are some of the smaller system, there are still some costs associated but i think that it could be helpful technology when you're at a higher altitude where there could be other traffic in the area. >> right. withdraw. we said over a certain altitude, you'd have a transponder. in certain kinds of critical air space, you have to have a transponder. right now those things are invisible to our crude radar systems. that's right. okay. and then this lost link. that's been a problem with the military. you know, you think you've got that nailed in terms of having, if you have the geo spatial restrictions and that's all somehow programmed in and these things can find a safe harbor point remotely and they know they've lost the link so they're going to go to that point. >> typically how that would work is the manufacturers of the vehicles know what a safe amount of lost link time is. and for example, they can
specify in certain applications where the link is absolutely critical and if there's any sort of lost link, it needs to immediately return to the landing location in a way that is safe. in other case, a lot of these systems are so highly autonomous that interruptions in the link may not be as important, if it's in an area where it's controlled, so it's all depending on the risk of the situation and you can actually program a lot of that into the actual avionics of the system. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. meadows. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on some of what you were just sharing, mr. kallman. you talked a lot about technology and where we are. we see an aircraft sitting in front of captain moak there. it is possible to put in the type of technology or can you expand on the types of technology that would increase safety but yet not require an
aircraft license as the gentleman to your right is advocating that would keep us safe. what other technologies are out there? >> i mentioned two very important ones, the geofence technology which is very common in the industry and can be used on vehicles as small as the ones you see here. the management functionality et gets to a lost link also loss of gps so that should the vehicle no longer be able to make itself aware of where it is, it knows how to land safely. there's a lot of really great research going on right now here in the united states and other parts of the world that professor roy talked about on sense and avoid technology. that's going to be a critical piece for enabling a lot of these high risk applications at higher altitude with other traffic in the area and there's already very significant advancements in that area as well. >> how confident are you that if we do not change our regulatory
scheme, that canada, australia, europe will own this type of technology and on a scale of one to ten being most confident that if we don't change things that we're going to lose out? >> i would say i'm pretty confident. because we're seeing a lot of the highly skilled manufacturers in europe really surpassing a lot of the u.s. company of their ability to go and iterate, do very frequent testing, do a lot of research on their products where they're able to actually go two or three generations in their products where a u.s. company may only be able to do it once. so we are starting to see some of that. >> so they're actually doing a lot more testing in europe or canada or other places than we are here? >> just because a lot of them, the main manufacturers there have easy access to testing facilities. >> so ms. gilligan, let me come to you from an faa standpoint, obviously we have some six sites
that we're talking about, but if there is so much work going on in these foreign countries, are you gathering data in terms of commercial activity from them successes, failures or are we just being more focused on the united states and not using their -- learning from their mistakes or successes? >> no, sir, there's a lot of coordination at the international level. both in terms of what should we as an industry be setting as the standards for these operations as well as sharing experience that we are seeing around the world. but i do want to comment on the vast differences in the complexity of our air space and our aviation system over some of the other countries where we are seeing that there's some easier access. we have ten times the number of registered airplanes than our friends to the north. we have multiple times the numbers of operations. >> and that's without a doubt. but there is, as mr. defazio was talking about, there are certainly areas that -- where
these, the risk would be minimal. i've learned today that i probably violated a federal law by taking pictures of a golf course. now, there was more danger of somebody getting hit by a golf ball than there is from the drone that flew over the -- to take the pictures, but as we see that, can we not look at it on a risk-based assessment and really open up the testing so that our airline pilots can feel comfortable with what we have but yet not keep it so confined? >> we're working closely with the test site in north dakota, for example, with just that in mind. recognition that there is lower level of air traffic over most of the state of north dakota and they're looking at how they can broaden access for that test site. so yes, sir, we agree that there are areas where this can safely be accomplished and we're looking at working with the test sites on how we can expand that.
>> so have we implemented any recommendations that we've received from foreign countries that would actually help alleviate some of this? or are we just gathering data? >> i'm not aware that we have recommendations from foreign countries that would address this, but we are learning from their experience and looking at -- >> if we're learning and not implementing, that's not doing any good, is it? >> i'm sorry, when i was going to say is we're learning from them and looking at how we can implement what they've learned safely here in this system. we continue to look for ways to do this safely. >> all right. i thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. meadows. i want to thank the members for watching the clock. you may notice mr. larson and i kept ourselves on the clock. we have a lot of folks who want to ask questions so i appreciate that. we'll now go to ms. titus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i represent las vegas, so there's a lot of enthusiasm in nevada for the development of drones or uafs, we've got a lot
of open space. we've got creach air force base. we've got a creative gaming industry that wants to provide bottle service by the pool with these things. i mean, the potential is great. we applied to become a test center, we got that. i was supportive of that. we've been working on it. but the enthusiasm is starting to wane because that test site is not producing like we thought it would. i hear ms. gilligan being positive about it, but the things that i hear from people who have briefed me from nevada are more in line with what dr. dillingham pointed out. just they just don't think it's getting off the ground, so to speak. and i heard ms. gilligan say about three different times, we are working on this so we can start to address some of the concerns. well, that doesn't give me a lot of comfort because you've been working on the rule for such a long time, i don't think working on it to address the concerns is going to get us there in time to
be competitive. i don't know why a business wouldn't just go test in canada instead of going to one of our test centers. seemed to me there are three problems that i hear over and over from the different folks from nevada who come and talk to me. one is they don't know what information should be collected. it's just not been clear to them what data's needed, what -- how to put it together, what procedures should be followed. now, i hear dr. dillingham say you're working on establishing that, but there's no timeframe for when that's going to be done, so that could be who knows when that might be. a second problem that they seem to have is this speeding up the coa process. we heard some reference to that, you have to do it over every single time, takes so long. i wonder why we couldn't maybe prioritize the coas for the test sites over others because that seems to be where we want to put our emphasis.
third, the problem of intellectual property, protecting industrial secret, so to speak, of companies that many ko and test there that has to give all this information to the faa and the public. i just wonder if you would address some of these questions, ms. gilligan. and dr. dillingham, would you give us your perspective on them. >> yes, ma'am, i'd be glad to. if i could start with the last one first, that's why we are very pleased to see that nevada has stepped out to begin the approval process for a designee. we believe and i think they believe that using a designee will allow them to bring industry into the site without having to put in jeopardy the intellectual property that i know some of the folks who wanted to work at that site have had. so we think that's an important step forward. i believe the approval for that designee should be completed this month. so i think with that the test site will see that they can now sort of market that they have the ability for industry to bring their research projects to
this test site and not put at risk the intellectual property that was a concern earlier on. so i think that's an important improvement and we applaud nevada for stepping out first to take that on. in terms of the coas, we do prioritize the requests. all of the test sites have approved authorities now for air space. there are some that are still pending. we're again trying to work through those as quickly as we can because, we agree with you, the test sites have been designated as a location where we can take advantage of what we can learn to continue to integrate uas safely. so we are pursuing that as well. and i'm sorry, i forget the first one. >> i've forgotten the first one myself. what information should be collected. >> data, i'm sorry, yes. again, we saw these sites initially and primarily and continue to see them primarily to be a place where industry can go to do the research and development that they want to do, the work that some of my
colleagues here on the panel have talked about. in terms of what data the faa needs, we now realize that is a valuable piece of information for the test sites to have. with the applications for the centers for excellence, we have identified the research needs that the faa has and again in our biweekly conference calls with the test sites as well as now with the visits that will be made by our staff from the technical center, we'll be working closely with the test site operators to make sure they understand what could be helpful to faa based on the work they could be seeing at their test sites. >> dr. dillingham? >> ms. titus, you hit on all the key points, the same stories that we've been hearing from theest sites. we've had the opportunity to interview half of them and visit some of the test sites. and those are the key issues. i think in terms of increasing their value and their capacity
to input, i think ms. gilligan, if faa fulfills those things that ms. gilligan talked about, that will go a long way, but i think sort of key to this is something that mr. defazio said about looking at this anti-deficiency law and seeing is there a way that, you know, funds could be made available to pay for research or support research at the test sites, and also in terms of the idea that we only have six test sites, i mean, our information suggests that in canada, for example, they are ready to designate a very large air space up to 18,000 feet for testing beyond visual line of sight. so perhaps as we move towards
the next stage of this, that not only additional test sites and a maximum use of the current ones that we again think in terms of risk-based approach to it. >> thank you. thank you. mr. chairman. >> mr. perry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity to question. i don't sit on the subcommittee, but i have a great interest in it. from the context of safety juxtaposed with the industry and the things that we're missing out on, i think as well as the time it's taken to come by the rule, my mind-set is many but i'm just looking at an article in the local paper on november 14th of this year, which is not too long ago at 4:30 in the afternoon on a wednesday. so it's not on the weekend. an ems helicopter flown by a guy that i used to fly with in the military at about 600 or 700 feet agl encountered a uas about
50 feet away from the aircraft and, you know, did a pretty strong evasivive maneuver to make sure that he didn't hit the aircraft. he didn't have his patient on board. he was coming back from having the patient on board. but that concerns me. it's not just ems. it's, you know, reports from ken do dee where just in the same month on november 16th one came within ten feet of the left wing of a delta airlines flight, which is concerning. we want everybody to -- hobbyists, people that want to use it for business and so on and so forth to be able to access the air space, but we also need to make sure that we're all understanding what the rules are and that they make sense. with that in mind, just one question for you, mr. moak. what's the cost of one of the engines on the airplane you fly? >> millions and millions of dollars. >> i mean, literally over a million dollars just for the engine. >> absolutely. >> so if it's -- if the uas were
to fly through it or hit it -- >> well, this is, just to be clear because i think maybe this wasn't clear. this has a gps in it this has geo coding in it. it has the ability to do the things when it loses lost link, it's supposed to come back. so this going through an engine would do that damage that we showed in the earlier picture and to really be clear, we're all over this risk-based security, risk-based approach to it. and we also come in the steady hand of the faa and make sure that as we bring them along we're safe, but again we'd have a different conversation if it ran into that ems helicopter or ten feet closer to the delta jet. >> ms. gilligan, can i ask you a question in that regard. what specifications, if you can enumerate at this point or give us insight, is the faa
contemplating to incorporate into uas to make sure that pilots can detect and avoid -- pilots don't just look straight ahead in the direction they're flying, you have to look almost at 360 degrees. you can't look behind you. and then if you could address all-weather capability of uas and what the plan is for that. anonymous operation. if that aircraft were to hit other aircraft, how do we know who owned it and maybe liability if that's germane to this current conversation. >> thank you, congressman. on the question of standards, we have several groups that are -- industry groups that are working on advising us on what those standards should be through the rtca we've had a special committee working on uas standards. they expect to put forward their first set of draft standards around this time next year with final standards due about the year -- about a year after that, which is the standard process that we use when we're setting new design standards. in the meantime, we do have
applicants that have come in to get certification for their vehicles. they're working on our los angeles aircraft certification office. we're approaching the certification basis with those applicants by looking at our current regular lations and i y identifying those that are appropriate for this kind of technology. as it relates to the small uas, we do have a rule coming ot shortly that will make proposals around a number of these areas and we'll look for comments back on those as well. >> are you talking -- for instance, lighting, a strobe or after-hours of darkness required lighting, proximity warning or t-cass of something of that magnitude, then if you could address the anonymous component or the ability to track if there is a liability issue. >> again, we do not have existing standards for the design or manufacture of unmanned aerial systems for civil use. that's why we're working with rtca and astm. both of them internationally
recognized standards setting organizations to define working with the industry what should those standards be. that's work that's under way and that the community completely agrees needs to be well developed to address just the kinds of risks that you're talking about. the other issue, which is something we're seeing now, the operation of small uas fundamentally by people who are able to buy them but have no aviation history or experience who, in many cases don't even realize they have a responsibility to know that they're operating in the national air space system. our first approach to that is through education. we're doing a tremendous amount of outreach. we're working with the manufacturers who are voluntarily putting information into the kit, into the box when you get it about what those responsibilities are if you're going to operate a small uas. they are directing people who buy them to look at the modeling -- the american modelers association website, which has a tremendous amount of safety information for the operation of these kinds of
small vehicles. the dilemma is not many of the folks who buy these are really modelers as you or i might have understood that, which is about building the airplane and the joy of that. they are, as captain moak indicates, you can purchase these easily and fly them pretty quickly after you've gotten them to your home. >> thank you, i yield. >> ms. esty. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing on the future of unmanned aircraft systems. i want to thank all the witnesses. i'm sort of at the opposite end of the spectrum from congresswoman titus. i live in the other end of the country. for my state which has long been at the forefront of aerospace design, i see both tremendous opportunity for american businesses and for workers in my state, but also serious risk. i was at an event recently, a charity event which i had my first encounter with a drone, which was a little hard to actually be appropriately reflective during a benediction
while a drone was overhead. so it kind of brought home what the reality of that is. so i want to return to my one of my favorite topics which is next-gen and ask several of you. it really goes to your point, ms. gilligan, i don't think we can rely on the hobbyists here to take the time that modelers have always taken because they see themselves in the aviation space. these are people who are enjoying toys in some cases and don't have that sense of responsibility. if seagulls can take down an aircraft, what do you think something made out of metal can do? and all it is going to take is one horrific accident. i'd like to ask you, captain moak, can you talk about what we need to do in next-gen to keep your pilots and passengers safe in this country, what we need to be doing with next-gen and mr. hampton you're next on deck about this, and what about
integrating both of these together, which i think is tremendously important. we need to move very rapidly. thank you. >> we work with the unmanned aircraft systems groups, and they shouldn't be defined by this because they also have the same concerns we have of one of these causing an accident. all right? so the risk-based approach, we're working with them on, we're working with the faa. on next-gen, the larger type of systems that would be in the air space, there has to be a way for the pilot in the cockpit if it's going to be in the same air space, to be able to see it, there has to be a way for our controllers who keep the air space very safe to be able to see it on their control room currently we do that with iff, we have adsb in and out with next-gen coming online and i'm
confident that these technological challenges that we're facing here going through a process, same kind of process we use to certify aircraft and operators that we'll be able to do that at some point, but right now they're being defined by this. and what we have to be mindful of is as the air space gets more crowded and not less that we have those same capabilities. when the air force comes to the next-gen committee sets on it, their concern is how they're going to be integrated in the air space, in and out and whatnot. so that's really -- i think that's really the focus and the tie-in with next-gen, congressman. >> mr. hampton, about this integration effort of next-again with uas. >> currently a lot of today's discussion's been focused on the smaller uas. when we did our review last year, uas are operating today, of the authorized -- they call ms. gilligan and the industry calls them coa.
there are about five of them. dod operates them now, albuquerque center, los angeles center and the only preliminary work to be done to look at the air traffic control systems and the adjustments that have to be made. in particular, the automation systems take a look at the 2.4 billion e-ram system, the flight planning system will have to be adjusted. another one we talk about is the voice switch. today most of the discussion's been about today pilots talk to controllers via voice commands. today that discussion is going to have to be with the person that's operating the system that's on the ground, not in the cockpit of the system. so a great deal of work has to be done to think about how systems in the air traffic control system have to be adjusted. some work's begun. it's in its infancy. that has to be done now. i think the planning and requirements adjustments that something that has to be done very quickly. >> if anyone's got thoughts on
the funding, you know, if this is appropriate to go to the industry to seek the resources to realize both the safety but also the opportunity for industry and if anyone would care to get into that, i'd love to hear your thoughts. >> your time is just about -- >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. we'll start with ms. gilligan. we created section 333 to push the faa to begin allowing small u.s. operations before finalizing the rule. you all stated goal was to approve these petitions within 120 days. however, only 7, according to my figures, have been granted to date and 60 applications are passed 120-day window. what's the status of these petitions and can we expect to see more timely response to them, especially with regard to
areas you've prediz ig natured as the test site? it seems obvious that you can let the airmen know that in these areas there's going to be the presence of uav, you can dedicate air space to them, you certainly ought to be able to streamline around the test centers. >> yes, sir, i'm pleased to say there were five additional xemgs that were issued today. so there are now 12 exemptions that have been granted. >> but there's 200 filed. >> i believe it was slightly over 160, but we'll confirm that number for you. having said that, we agree that we need to speed this up a little bit. each of them is -- some are more unique than we were anticipating, but we're learning quickly as we've gone through this first set. as to the test sites, we actually believe that the statute intended for them to be separate from the test sites. they are for commercial service which is actually not the reason for the test sites. the test sites are about -- >> let me ask you something real
quick with commercial service. i'm also worried about the cat being out of the bag. i've got a quad copter on my christmas list, as i suspect quite a few people do. so at some point there are going to be so many of these that are out without -- we're not going to know who owns them. you can look back to the fcc and the walkie-talkies that came with a card that you're supposed to register them, but nobody did. i think this is a more dangerous scenario, and it's something that i think you guys need to be putting a priority on. when there are too many of these out here capable of going beyond, you know, a couple hundred feet, actually being able to go up to 6,000 feet, we've got a problem. and our failure to regulate them, we'll have a genie out of the bottle issue. i'll ask dr. dillingham, you studied this. how can we speed this up? i mean, things move at internet speed now. these are considered tech devices.
silicon valley gets stuff done in weeks not years. >> yes, sir. this is a situation that, although we've studied, we don't have an answer for because, as you pointed out, we're talking about civilians, regular public, using these kind of platforms, and there are already existing regulations that the modelers follow, but the public has not adhered to it. >> the resources to enforce that against tense of thousands of these that will be sold at christmas? >> it will be a difficult if not impossible task because faa already has so many calls on its resources, it's -- i think what ms. gilligan said earlier probably is one of the best steps. that is, education for the
public that there are, in fact, rules and regulations that they need to follow. when we see these public announcements of individuals being fined or otherwise the faa acting on them, that probably is going to have to be one of the incentives as well. >> even the existing regulations assuming they were in force. let's assume i buy a quad copter and put a goat cam on it and go to my friend's ranch and film deer around a deer field. i'm perfectly legal at this point. i post that to my blog that has google ads on it, all of a sudden i've probably crossed into a gray area of commercial use. and i mean, that's -- that's a lot of fine line distinctions to have to educate the public about. >> i can't argue with that, sir, you're right. >> all right. ms. gilligan, i'll give you an opportunity to answer my question or concern that we're operating at the speedof